Sleep Changes For Your Health
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Working on your sleep habits can accomplish so much more to help your health. Here are some small changes you can make to your sleep habits that will pay off with some big results.
A review of studies published in 2019 in Nature Communications found that people who wake up early may have a specific genetic component that lowers their risk of developing depression.
Snooze more the week before
Of course, skimping on sleep is never a good idea, but if you know you won’t be able to get the recommended seven to eight hours for a few days—maybe because of a work project—you can ward off some of the negative effects by “banking” extra shut-eye in advance.
Take a mid-afternoon power nap
When first-year medical residents rested in the mid-afternoon for 20 minutes (almost half of which was spent sleeping, on average), they were more alert and scored better on mental tasks than peers who rested but stayed awake, according to a 2012 study published in Academic Medicine.
Go to bed earlier
For a 2011 study published in the journal Sleep, male basketball players were encouraged to sleep as long as possible with a minimum goal of 10 hours a night (most averaged 8.5 hours). Over a five- to seven-week period, they improved their free throw shooting accuracy and sprint times.
Sleep on your back
Or so suggests the National Sleep Foundation. Although only around 8 percent of people sleep on their backs, it’s the healthiest option for most people since it allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position. It’s also ideal for warding off heartburn.
Power down at least 30 minutes before bedtime
Using some sort of tech device in the hour before bed—as 9o percent of people do—does a number on your body’s internal clock, suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, and makes it tougher to fall asleep.
This article is for general information purposes only and is not medical advice. Consult your physician if you experience any symptoms related to this article.
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